Only yesterday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that the new farm laws enacted by the federal government have led to black marketing sales of potatoes and onions. This has led to a sharp rise in prices of both commodities.
Ms. Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking the government to ensure that black market sales are counteracted or to provide the necessary power to states for tackling the problem.
“The central government has made destructive farm laws leading to blackmarketing of essential food items like potato and onion,” the chief minister said at an administrative meeting here. “Earlier we used to keep a check on prices of these essential food items but the central Acts have robbed the states of their powers. This has caused losses to farmers as well as consumers.”
The Centre in September enacted the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, which removed cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oil, onions and potatoes from the list. Banerjee said that the state government should not be blamed for the high prices of items like potato or onion, which were earlier in the list of essential commodities.